What Can Possibly Be Accomplished During 2018 Lame Duck Session of Congress?

Congress left many issues undone for the 16-days scheduled in the legislative calendar after the 2018 midterm elections, known as the lame duck session of Congress. Below are some of those remaining issues. FY 2019 Appropriations Bill Congress enacted 5 (of the total 12) annual FY 2019 appropriations bills prior to the beginning of the…

Federal Budget Changes Coming. Is Your Organization Ready?

No matter the outcome of the upcoming mid-term elections there is an important policy issue that will take center stage early in the coming 116th Congress.  Its an issue that everyone knows Congress must begin to address and its an issue that could impact everyone’s favorite federal program — the federal debt and growing federal…

Cansler Keynotes Annual Conference for Tennessee Farm Bureau Presidents

“Tim Cansler’s behind the scenes Washington knowledge on agricultural and farm issues makes him an excellent choice for hearing the “rest of the story” about current Washington happenings. His agricultural and Farm Bureau background provide a solid foundation and understanding of the issues important to farmers.” Jeff Aiken President Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation Cansler Consulting,…

Small Lobbyist Secures $72 Million from State Gov’t for GA County

Henry County SignHenry County, Georgia needed help.  They needed money to widen GA155. The Board of County Commissioners hired a small lobbying firm and within ONE WEEK, the firm had procured $72 million to widen the road.1

wait for it…

at the whopping cost of $2000 per month for one year. So,  $24,000 netted the County $71,976.000.00. “That’s a pretty good investment, I think,” said Commissioner Blake Prince, of funding the lobbyist’s contract.…

  1. http://www.henryherald.com/news/henry-county-commissioners-new-lobbyist-helps-secure-million-for-ga/article_ca8a9fc6-6421-5280-bf51-88b9ab21ad99.html []

Lobbying to Reduce Delays

Methods for Industry to Speed Conveyances and Reduce the Risk of Delays, Re-Export, Treatments or Destruction of Cargo

It is estimated that $1.1 trillion worth of agricultural products are traded internationally each year. Food items account for justShip Containers iStock_000004081957Small under 85% of the total.

And while this economic activity provides much-needed nourishment around the world, there is one huge downside — the potential introduction of pests and diseases that are harmful to agriculture and the environment. Simply put, where fruit or plants travel so do the creatures that plague them. Pests like fruit fly eggs hidden in the skins of oranges, beetles that have burrowed into wooden shipping pallets and fungus spores in between the seams of metal shipping containers.…

U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC)

Tim Cansler w Canada's Ambassador David MacNaughton

Tim Cansler w Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton

U.S. and Canadian Regulatory Senior Officials met to discuss opportunities to smooth and speed imports and exports between the two countries and enhance economic competitiveness while at the same time heightening safety standards.  The RCC is made up of government officials and industry stakeholders focused on trying “to promote economic growth, job creation, and benefits to consumers and businesses through increased regulatory transparency and coordination” between the two North American giants.1 Both countries maintain a very effective regulatory system that achieves similar levels of protection.  In addition, regulatory officials on both sides of the border have generally compatible regulatory values and practices.

  1.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_Cooperation_Council   []

President Signs Transportation Reauthorization

With one day remaining before the deadline for the current surface transportation Dollar symbol on endless roadauthorization to expire President Obama signed HR 22, a 5-year (FY 2016-2020), $305 billion surface transportation reauthorization.  The bill will require offsets to make a $70 billion general fund transfer to the Highway Trust Fund.  About $52 billion of this would go to highways and a little over $18 billion to mass transit.

Multiple offsets were found to fund the overall measure, some of which are controversial.  Some of those offsets include; cutting the dividend the Federal Reserve (Fed) pays to member banks, transferring funds from the Federal Reserve surplus account to help the Fed offset losses and selling a portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).…

Follow the Leader…

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

As disclosure for this blog post: I have known, supported and learned a lot from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) since the late 1980’s. He is emphatically one of the most astute and cunning politicians of the modern era.  He’s been re-elected five times in Kentucky, a Commonwealth where the number of registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. This last election cycle (2014) McConnell carried 110 of 120 counties.

This is How You Do It

Our Dollar Sign Road iStock_000000985949XSmallhats are off to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), US Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL), US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) and EPW Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for their leadership and bipartisan work on the much-needed long term (6-year) extension of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization (highway bill) that funds the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).  The HTF is a dedicated source of federal funding for highways.  It is the primary funding source for federal highways and transit programs for state, local, and national projects across the U.S. The Senate adopted HR 22, the long-term highway bill by a vote of 65-34.…

No Other Viable Transportation Options

put in a patch

Highway patch

Just hours before the U.S. Senate was set to adjourn for the long August congressional recess, on July 31, the U.S. Senate adopted H.R. 5021 to fund the nation’s highway system by a vote of 81-13.  H.R. 5021 is a short term, $11 billion “patch” for funding of the U.S. highway trust fund through May 2015.  The trust fund would have been insolvent at the beginning of August.

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopted H.R. 5021 with a vote of 367-55 on July 15. While the measure garnered bi-partisan support, House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told CQ News, “Democrats would have a preferred a longer-term deal that shored up the highway trust fund’s solvency for years to come… and many Democrats accepted the deal because there were no other viable options.”  State transportation officials and transportation industry leaders have called for Congress to pass long-term legislation to ensure more certainty for highway improvement projects across the country.

16 Days Away: Highway Trust Fund Insolvency

Dollar symbol on endless road16 Legislative Days Away From Highway Trust Fund Insolvency

Congress is 16 days away from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) becoming insolvent and lawmakers in Washington are scrambling for a solution. It is baffling that Congress finds itself in this situation especially since Congress has been reauthorizing the HTF since it was created in 1956 to provide a dedicated source of federal funding for highways and transit programs for states and local communities across the U.S.…

Keystone Pipeline

Keystone Pipeline

Keystone Pipeline from http://blogs.nicholas.duke.edu/

Recently, the Obama Administration announced it will extend a key review period of the Keystone XL Pipeline indefinitely. Most political pundits think this delay will push a decision until after the 2014 mid-term elections, which could signal the Administration’s intent to not approve the project. However, in its announcement, the State Department cited ongoing litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court (which could re-route the pipeline) and additional time needed to review an unprecedented number of public comments received during the most recent comment period.…

Waterway Supply Chains Need U.S. Investment

Transporting $270 Billion of Our Exports

After five years since the last adoption of the (2007) Water Resources Development Act, congressional committees are beginning to focus on the U.S.’ water resources infrastructure.  The United States maintains 300 commercial ports, 12,000 miles of inland and intra-coastal waterways and about 240 lock chambers, which carry more than $270 billion in U.S. exports and just over half (by value) of U.S. imports.…